Thursday, October 16, 2014

3 Thoughts For Thursday

So I'll explain the photo in a minute, but as we careen towards the weekend here are a few things on my mind.

* First off, congrats to everyone who ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! I hope everyone reached their goals and finished with a smile on their face. Whether it's your first time or your 10th, it will be an experience you will remember forever.

I didn't run, of course, but that didn't stop us from heading downtown to spectate. So while I thought that I would be in Atlanta over the weekend, instead I stretched my streak to 15 straight years I have been a competitor, spectator or member of the media. I think...maybe it's 14 of 15, but either way, it's a long time!

My brother-in-law Adam was running his first marathon on Sunday, so we went downtown to support him. Hopefully he felt the love, because unfortunately we never saw him until he made it to the finish line.

It wasn't for a lack of trying, though. Darcy and I picked up the race at about Mile 2, spent some time on the Adams St. bridge (Mile 13 -- as you can see it was pretty windy), spent some more time at halfway and a while at Mile 17. With no sight of Adam, we headed to the finish. Darcy had secured us tickets to a Bank of America hospitality tent that included entry to the bleachers at the finish, so just after noon we headed there to wait for Adam's arrival.

In the meantime, my friend Noah crossed the finish line in 4:24:52, and we were able to cheer him on to the line. That marked a significant
milestone, because Noah and I have been friends since 2000 and I never had the chance to cheer him at the finish of a race. That's usually because he got there first and cheered me on instead! Glad I finally got to return the favor.

The finish line of a marathon is so inspiring. I like to see the faces of the people as they approach the finish, and I especially like seeing so many different nations represented by the participants. I think it would be so cool to go to a different country and run a marathon, and that's something I hope to do someday.

Finally, Adam lumbered his way to the finish (in 4:57:32), and I couldn't believe we missed him so many times! First off, at 6-foot-2 (or so), he stands out in a crowd, and second, he was wearing a bright blue shirt. Oh well, I'm glad we at least got to share a little bit of the accomplishment with him.

Then it was on to the tent, where I chowed down on some of the great food! I took advantage of that because last year after running the race I just didn't feel like eating.

It's always fun to spectate and we had a blast this year. As time goes on, it gets more fun and more exciting thanks to technology and social media. The marathon's runner tracking software gives your favorite runners's splits in 5K increments, and includes an estimated finish time and realtime estimate as to when they will cross the finish line. It also sends text alerts to your phone, as well as Facebook and Twitter, among others. Being a fan of social media, that's a cool thing.

Adam had a tough day Sunday, and I was a little worried that would leave him to not want to run again. But it was quite the contrary, he said he had a great time and was looking forward to running in 2015. Hey, what a coincidence! So am I!

* Props also go out to Matt for setting a HUGE PR in his race on Friday night. It's rare that a cross country team gets a "home" meet, but Benedictine hosted the Eagle Invitational at a forest preserve not far from campus. After following the team to South Bend and St. Louis for their last two meets (and heading to Oshkosh, Wisconsin this weekend), it was nice to have a short drive to watch him run.

It was an insanely fast race, and Matt hauled his way around the 8K course in 29:01 to drop his personal best by almost two minutes! He was also selected by his team as the Athlete of the Week. He's having a great season for a freshman -- as are several of his teammates -- but it's hard to believe they only have three races left in the year. Then it's on to track!

* I haven't been running a lot lately. I ran 3.8 miles on Saturday and 3.7 today, but with three days to go in the week I can still make my 12-15 mile goal. With how well my 6-miler went a couple of weeks ago, I may stretch a run on Sunday out to seven and see how it feels.

Today was a bit rough, I just felt tight and had trouble with my pacing, so much so that I stopped and walked a couple of blocks to slow myself down before resuming at a much slower pace. That seemed to help, but my legs felt like lead for the most part. Oy. I'm thinking it has something to do with my water intake and hydration as I haven't been doing too well at that as of late.

Finally, about the picture. The Bartlett police set up one of those "Your Speed" signs at the end of the street, which I'm happy to see because people like to fly down our street. Anyway, I've run by those so many times over the years but have never recorded a speed. As you can tell, this one was different, so I had to get a picture!

Little things, folks. Little things.

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